ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
8 June 2016
 
EThekwini Executive Committee Members Visit Durban Christian Centre Church to Offer Support
 
A City delegation, led by eThekwini Acting Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala, met with senior pastors of the Durban Christian Centre (The Jesus Dome) today, 8 June 2016 to offer their sympathies and support after a fire gutted the church building.
 
The visit was welcomed by Senior Pastor John Torrens who thanked Shabalala and the committee for making the time to come to the church site and offer their support in person.
 
The fire has affected the community as scores of church members stood outside the gutted building, in Buro Crescent, Mayville staring at the remains in disbelief.
 
City Fire received a call at 17h39 on Tuesday, 7 June 2016, and immediately dispatched four fire engines and a turntable ladder. Emergency services say the main auditorium of the church was fully engulfed in the blaze when firefighters began putting out the flames.
 
While the roof of the main auditorium collapsed, some offices and other structures in the vicinity were not engulfed by the raging flames. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
 
Shabalala said they had come as City leaders to offer support during this difficult time. This included the use of City Hall auditorium or the Durban Exhibition Centre to the church to host their Sunday service.
 
“This would be a once-off opportunity, to allow your congregation to meet on Sunday. It would also give you time to regroup and plan ahead. This would not set a precedent to allow anyone to use these venues to hold a service as this is a unique situation. This is the first time a church of this size has been destroyed by fire in Durban and our sympathies are with you during this time,” she said.
 
Torrens, welcomed the offer but said plans had already been made to host the Sunday service at the GrowthPoint Kings Park Stadium. He thanked Shabalala and other City officials for their generous offer and support.
 
“Thank you for coming and taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with us. We really appreciate it. We are here to serve the City of Durban just as you are,” said Torrens.
 
He said the last staff members left at 4h30pm on Tuesday afternoon before the fire started. “We thank God that no one was hurt. We also have to thank the authorities including the Fire Department and the Police who were on the scene and worked tirelessly. We are devastated and shocked at what has happened. But church is not about a building, it is about people and we will come back from this bigger and stronger,” he told the delegation.
 
Torrens said foul play was not suspected. “We have no reason to believe this. The site is a crime scene at the moment with a forensic team on site investigating.”
 
He prayed with the Executive Committee after the brief visit and thanked each member again for the visit.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.
For more information members of the media can contact Municipal spokesman Thulani Mbatha on 031 311 4820 or email: thulani.mbatha1@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za
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